Gratitude is Seeing the Miracle in Every Moment.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How to Win Friends and Influence People- A Study Journal

As I was pulling in to work this morning, the day after we celebrate the birth of our Savior; I found myself contemplating the stark reality that I had fallen so far from where I once was. While pondering this grave fact of my current life status, I've since come to the conclusion that the reason for this downfall, is ultimately due to my lack of endurance to meet an end goal. Now, without getting too religious about this undeniable factor currently contributing to my lack of direction and current course of life, yet knowing that my faith and living of gospel principles should also be a constant driving force, I know that I have to pick up where I left off... once I get out of the woods here.

In short, I recall having not only a regular habit of living a faithful life, but also of consistent intellectual improvement by reading well written teachings and theories on characteristic improvements. This too, I have lost an ability to endure in. So although some may deem this a little too early to acquire new year resolutions, I've made it a tactical life decision to take more time reading and studying what many call "self-help" books. Perhaps it will encourage a more adept ability to be successful on a larger scale... at least this is my hope.

My first attempt at personal improvement was recommended some years ago to me by a close friend whom I view as not only a vastly successful businessman, but also an inspiring motivator and spiritual giant. He has sworn by Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" as a powerful foundation that built who he is now is both professionally and personally. I therefore plan to indulge my thought processing by compiling my own commentary and insight on the words I will be reading here in this blog.

Opening Page Reads: The More You Get Out of This Book, the More You'll Get Out of Life!
This seems to be a premise for an alluded promise, yet to be experienced. In my experience, a promise such as this, would require personal effort on my part. Mr. Carnegie states on this page:
In order to get the most out of this book:
a. Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles of human relations.
b. Read each chapter twice before going on to the next one.
c. As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how you can apply each suggestion.
d. Underscore each important idea.
e. Review this book each month.
f. Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use this volume as a working handbook to help you solve your daily problems.
g. Make a lively game out of your learning by offering some friend a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches you violating one of these principles.
h. Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvement, what lessons you have learned for the future.
i. Keep notes in the back of this book showing how and when you have applied these principles.

I'm assuming that one would not be required to pursue each of these suggestions in order to get "the most out of this book", however there are some good examples of what I would deem to be successful study habits.... such habits that could easily be applied to all other books and techniques one might be seeking to learn. Hence why I have noted them here.

It is keen to note that originally, this written work was to be used as a sort of textbook for Mr. Carnegie's courses in Effective Speaking and Human Relations. These courses, according to Mrs. Dale Carnegie are still offered today. I wonder what those courses entail...

In Mr. Carnegie's self written prologue about how this book was written-- and why, he candidly points out, "Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect, or engineer."
Oh how peculiar this world would be without some sort of interpersonal communication! Anyone who thinks contrary to Dale's statement of the obvious, needs to make a serious check in with reality. In fact, he also points out only 15% of one's financial success is due to one's technical knowledge on any subject and approximately 85% of this same form of success is actually due to personality and the ability to lead people. This proves to be an intriguing concept. While 15% adds up to a fair amount of the sum, I'm baffled by the amount of success that actually comes simply by being.... AWESOME, to put it blankly. And to think I spent thousands of dollars on higher education. I could almost find it irritating and obnoxiously annoying that the highest-paid personnel in almost any industry are frequently not those who know the most about their field. My one saving grace to amount to anything in the future is the hope that if I have the technical knowledge PLUS the ability to express ideas, assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people-- in other words, communicating effectively, then I will be enabled with a higher earning power. I suppose at this point I can at least be grateful that I actually majored in communication while studying for my undergraduate.

Side Note: Someone very close to me, aka a family member with parental insight and authority recently made their opinion known regarding my hard earned education. He eluded if not matter of factually stated that a degree in Communication was "tiddly winks"; insinuating that I shouldn't seek a graduate degree in it because it wont get me anywhere in this world. While I harbor no ill will against this person whom I still hold in high esteem and respect, my heart was crushed at his condemnation. I fully accept the fact that I entered the work force at the peak of a national recession and jobs in my originally chosen field were scarce, and that the current job position I hold was not part of my original professional business plan. But I also accept the fact that all things considered, my ability to promote upwards in my current company of employment is due largely in part to my education and daily application in effective communication and leadership. These have enhanced my knowledge and experience in ways I could not see before, and I will only improve and move upward because of it. We'll see who's education was tiddly winks in due time.

There are some inspiring quotes within this prologue's last pages:

"Compared to what we ought to be,  we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use."  -William James, Harvard Professor

"Education is the ability to meet life's situations." -Dr. John G. Hibben, Former President Princeton University

"The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action." -Herbert Spencer

If Mr. Carnegie intended these final quotes to be associated with each other in this conclusion, one can be lead to think that in order to live outside our limits and what we ought to be, then we require education and that very education must lead to action or a performance of the knowledge gleaned from said education. Would it be safe to assume, if we are to glean anything from life the sole basis of such accomplishments is determined by an education; knowledge on simply.... "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

Hmmmm....... Interesting...

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